Today is The Book Lovers stop on the amazingly awesome book tour of The Art of Letting Go. Because Anna loves me, she has also given me a deleted scene, which i was contemplating adding in…well, because, i wanted to be greedy and keep Ben for myself, but because i am soooo nice, I have decided to share the goodiness of it!
You can thank me after 😉
One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it?
When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.
Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.
As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.
With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.
With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?
FIVE BLOOMING STARS!!
I would firstly like to thank Anna for sending me an advanced copy – well in advance (with my name written over it – woop woop) – of her book The Art Of Letting Go. You cannot understand my excitement when she sent it to me and my little acknowledgement! I have been wanting to read this book for months now, and when it arrived in my mailbox, I quickly finished my last book and got into the story of Ben and Lilah pretty much from the get go. (As all my followers should know…this book was all I could talk about for days…okay it still is…)
The Art Of Letting Go is definitely a book that deserves a place on your kindle and deserves your utmost time to devour everything inside of it. Anna has put blood, sweat and tears into this book to make it what it is – and it’s a book that is just so refreshing to read, so different from other books that I have read. Firstly it is set in diary entries, dated and timed too. This gives the book a sense of realism and Anna’s writing style is spot on for a dairy and that you feel that you shouldn’t be reading it, but you can’t stop yourself. It’s invasive, but you couldn’t give two hoots, you just have to keep on reading about Lilah’s life. She develops all the characters and you feel towards all of them, want to be a part of their little gang and wish you were back at university, experiencing everything all over again.
We have all had a diary once in our life and this helps Lilah deal with everything happening in her life – from leaving her job, going to university, falling in love and going through all the things that happen in the book. It’s a great way to learn about everyone in the book. Secondly, Anna is spot on with her writing style. She uses sarcasm and humour perfectly, she knows how to make you swoon in Ben and Tristan scenes, you will cry, you will laugh, you will get annoyed and it’s a journey of overcoming obstacles and things put in Lilah and all the characters ways. How they overcome their first year of university. And that ending. Dear god Anna, give me Year Two now please!
Anna writes real life. Its not all rainbows and fairy dust, oh no. You will have distractions and roadblocks in the way, you have characters with insecurities and trials and tribulations but one of many real things in the book? The friendship. Yes. I am so close to my university friends despite leaving last year and I can see how real their bond is. How real their love is for each other.
The Art of Letting Go is just that. Lilah is fed up of working for her father and after a cigarette break, she decides to just not return to work and instead, go to university. Lilah is bonkers, like I pure, bloody love her! At 25, she doesn’t want to end up like her mother, so on a whim, she walks away from her job and signs up to university. She makes rules that, of course, are broken within the first couple of hours but you can’t help but love this girl. Crazy as she is, you gobble up all of her diary entries, wanting to know more about her days at university, more of her crazy ass lifestyle and more about the swoon-worthy Ben Chambers. Oh yessss.
At points I wanted to smack her around the head and shout at her to tell Ben her feeling for him. You can see from her entries that she does care for him, throughout all the dilemmas in her way, but its hard for Lilah to let go, to admit her feelings for him until, really, its kind of too late and time is running out. You do root for Lilah and Ben, you see how perfectly they fit together and how Lilah, as the book title says, is in the art of letting go, and at the end of the book, it’s a tiny cliff-hanger but one where you want to know it’s going where you want it to. Know that Lilah has manned the fuck up and realized she’s about to let someone SO important to her go. She lives by Taylor Swift songs and even if you don’t know all of them, you can guess why they are important to that certain scene and why Lilah thinks that song sums up that entry. She really is a brilliant character and one that you must read about!
I do have to say, Anna warned me I would either start drinking or smoking throughout reading the book…I have to say, a lot of wine was consumed throughout the duration of this book (seeing as I don’t smoke). I am warning you now hahah.
Ben. Ben, Ben, Ben. MY darling Ben. He plays guitar and sings…in a band people! UHH weakness. He has dark hair, amazing blue eyes and freckles. How sexy is that?! He’s gorgeous, but hates the attention, he can be cocky and his smirk *sigh* and he is instantly drawn to Lilah. Well, he had been searching for her for the past nine months, after spotting her one Christmas at a Do he was playing at. Ben is sweet and lovely and really wants to be with Lilah, despite the roadblock, shall we say, in the way of the actual getting together – but he’d wait a life time for her. He will do absolutely anything to be with her, be around her and just have Lilah in his life. You can see how much he likes her, fancies her. Everything that Lilah is writing down, you can see that although she doesn’t see it, we, as the reader can see the way Ben acts with Lilah.
So something happens that makes you think “Oh Benjamin” But you trust him, because of how much he loves Lilah, even if she can’t see it and won’t let him explain. Even through her entries, you know he’s telling the truth about that night. Why would he be saying all these things to Lilah and wanting to spend all his time with her, if he was lying about that night? Nope, I believe my Ben!
Your heart breaks for him too. Lilah can’t trust him and doesn’t really want anything to do with him and he tries his damn hardest to get through to her, to see her, to make it right. He literally spends his time trying to get her to open her door. He will sit and wait, he will do whatever he can to make it up to her, to get back to how they were. But Lilah is stubborn and doesn’t let him.
Uhh and then his band has the chance to go to America to record an album, and you can actually see Ben, although he probably wants to go, he doesn’t want to leave Lilah. Those two just hotfooted around that and I wanted to shake them both and tell each other their feelings (Okay, so Ben is more open about his) and Lilah to say no, but then I was proud of her for not saying anything too because this is a big deal for Ben and his band. I was torn. I wanted Ben to stay, but I wanted him to chase his dream and make it big.
There are sooooo many amazing scenes…okay, the whole book is just amazing but there is one scene that I go on and on about to Anna – on text and twitter – but I can’t tell you want it is…my god, I want to shout it from the rooftop but I cant. BUT it proves just how freaking sweet and perfect my Benjamin is and my heart hurt and burst for him and Lilah. Dear god, that scene.
Can I also swoon over Ben singing ‘Hey There Delilah’ (That song was on repeat a hell of a lot) and Taylor Swift. PLEASE be real Ben, I need you in my life.
I adored the secondary characters – Meredith and of course, Tristan the arse. Meredith, despite being a few years younger than Lilah, is such a brilliant friend. Her and Lilah are just so great together and cause mischief but there are some tender and heart-breaking moments between the two and you just know that cements it for them – they have a bond that can’t be broken now. And Tristan. He’s Lilah’s twin brother and an arse, yet he really isn’t. He’s a beauty, and I really enjoyed the scenes with him. He too, is there for Lilah, he becomes close with Ben and he falls for the lovely Meredith. Their relationship is the cutest and despite the age gap, they are so right for each other.
I cannot tell you enough times to get your arse to Amazon, 1-click and open that book file asap. You want British humour and sarcasm? You want a wacky but fun heroine, you want a guitar-playing, sexy and loveable BRITISH hero and a hell of a lot in-between? Did you say yes? Well what the hell are you waiting for, The Art Of Letting Go is for you and its available at your becking call. GET READING right now and fall in love along the way with the characters and with Anna – she is one author to look out for! FOR SURE!
Once you start it, you won’t be able to put it down….I sure as hell couldn’t!
Stomping on the Grave of Rules 1, 2 and 3
Drunk is not so good.
Five pints of beer later we are stumbling out of the Student Union bar, Meredith is drunk—really drunk—and is making rude gestures at Ben who is walking a few paces in front.
We must have been in the bar longer than I thought; I am surprised to find that it is getting dark outside. The last couple of hours have been strange to say the least. We have been sitting at a table whilst Meredith holds court with a vast number of suitors who wander over. She does not seem interested, just accepting free drinks when bestowed. This explains why she is so royally smashed. Ben and I have been talking, talking and talking. I don’t even know what about, just general chit chat that seems to flow easily between us. Feeding each other little bits of information about ourselves. For instance, he knows Trev the barman because he played a few gigs here during his band’s early days. And that’s why he chose this university. I told him about the bank and working for my dad and what it is like to stare at a computer all day; something he knows nothing about.
All I know is that we have been gravitating towards each other like magnets; first knees turning to find other knees, then torsos turning, then hands sliding forward. Eventually, one of us would have to break the tension and get up to get a round of drinks. I can’t drink anymore though, so I think it better to lock myself in the safety of my room where I cannot keep trying to touch him, like a demented stalker.
The blue coloured twilight sets his form into a contrast of shadows and makes his hair hard to make out as we stumble across campus. Drunk as she is, Meredith still perceives the change between Ben and me and she is not so discretely pushing me over to him.
What is she? Like twelve or something?
I glare at her, but of course, that’s not something she seems to notice.
“Yous need to shtalks toose him,” she slurs.
“And tell him what?”
I am just being difficult. I know exactly what she means. And she is right: I have to tell him the truth. I have to be brave and honest, and tell him all about myself, just so if he is truly interested, then he knows everything. But I can’t tell if he is just playing me or really interested in me.
It’s scary how out of practice at this stuff I am.
Meredith falls further behind—on purpose—and then steps away in a different direction, instantly lost in the shadows.
“Ben!” I call, my hand reaching out to slow him down. Of its own accord it slides down his arm and his fingers link with mine. He turns his face, now pale in the half light, and leans in close to me.
Please don’t kiss me and make this harder! Please just kiss me anyway!
His voice is low and the sound of my name whispered off his lips makes my stomach dip in an alarming manner. My body will not listen to reason and steps into him. We are just standing there breathing; it feels completely electric.
I am feeling very inebriated. Again. Everything is starting to whirl around the edges, like I am caught in the eye of a storm. His fingers are easing along the edge of my jeans, tracing a cool pattern along my midriff and over the exposed top of my hips. I try to suppress a gasp, but fail as he slowly pulls me in close and I tilt my head up to look at him. His eyes are as black as midnight in the darkness, but they still show their intent as clear as day. It feels like I am experiencing the whole moment in slow motion as he lowers his cool lips to my own. He is not tentative like the other night, like he is not quite sure if he is going to get clocked around the head. This time there is a determination in his lips, and the hands that are locked around my hips pull me closer—as close as is physically possible under the circumstances.
My resolve weakens in a flash and I meld myself into him; my lips on his, hands in his hair, then along his back clutching at his t-shirt as if I don’t ever want to let go. Which I don’t. He backs me up against a tree and we stand under the turning leaves, lost in an oblivion I have never experienced before. I am greedy for it and want more. I tug his head down to mine and kiss him with as much enthusiasm as I can muster. Which is a lot.
Why I am doing this? Ben Chambers makes me want to punch him every time he opens his mouth, but at the moment all I want to do is kiss said mouth like there is no tomorrow. It makes no sense.
His hands lift me up off the ground and I wrap my legs around him, something I have never done before. Ever. My back is snagging on the bark of the tree but I don’t care in the least. The more pain the better. If it hurts, then it will somehow make it better. Make what I am doing better.
What Am I Doing?
The thought hits me like a slap in the face.
I am cheating.
The worse bit is not the fact that I am cheating on John, it is the fact I am cheating myself. Three days ago I came here to get away from my nightmare life, but as far as I can tell, I am just bringing the nightmare along for the ride.
I push against his chest, disengaging my lips and limbs from his. He does not let me get far. He just loosens his hold fractionally so I can slide down the length of his body until I am in a more suitable position. He is leaning down into me; his forehead is still pressed against mine, eyes closed.
“I broke my promise,” he says. His voice is thick and low.
At first, I do not know what he means.
“If anyone is breaking promises it is me,” I say.
Then I recall his words to me in the kitchen yesterday and I allow myself a smile. He smiles too. I can feel it: his nose skims along my jaw line and I take a deep breath. This is far harder than I thought it would be.
“I forgive you,” I say as I kiss his lips.
So shoot me. I can’t help it.
He presses against me and I know I need to speak now or I never will. And have to tell him the truth.
Please don’t like me. I don’t deserve it. I am a bitch who makes promises she does not intend to keep.
I pull away again, although not far enough, and his nose is still trailing up and down my neck. His lips follow leaving a pattern of their own, burnt into my skin. This is not working. I push away and he opens his eyes in surprise.
“I can’t do this Ben, I’m sorry.”
Then I run away like the big fat girl that I am. I don’t tell him anything apart from the embarrassing fact—one even I didn’t know—that I quite like to be groped whilst being pushed up against a tree.
Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni Files series she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.
Sapphire Solitaire Necklace (open worldwide)
One prize package for US and one for the UK:
candy, ebook, signed post card and a $20 gift card (£10 UK)
Check out all the blogs involved in the tour HERE